by Pat Brosnan


Death of Paddy Faley


The death of Paddy Faley, Glenbawn, which occurred early last week in Tralee Hospital, was widely regretted, not alone by his immediate family, relations, friends and neighbours, but also by many others who had known Paddy through his writings, stage and radio appearances down through the years. Paddy was originally a native of Glasha, Athea but in his earlier years took up residence in nearby Glenbawn in Ballyhahill parish where he, his wife and young family, settled and made their home. Sadly his wife died at an early age which left Paddy to raise their 5 young children, all girls, on his own. How well he performed this difficult and demanding task with some help from relatives can be judged by the great way his family turned out and the careers and lives which they forged for themselves in later years.  Paddy worked for several years with Limerick County Council looking after the upkeep and maintenance of local roads and he also attended his small farm and cut his yearly supply of turf in a local bog each year. He regularly planted vegetables in his kitchen garden for domestic use, a practice which he kept up until recently.  During all these years of caring for his family, working at his Council job and his farm Paddy still found time to compose poetry, ballads, recitations, sketches, one-act plays and humorous stories many of which he performed on stage and radio with the help of family members and friends on some occasions. Some of his compositions were classics in their own right and were full of wit and humour such as “Minding the House”, “The Railway Line to Ardagh”, “Moonlight in Glenbawn”, “The Road to Carrigkerry” and indeed many more. He also won many awards for his poems and writings which were often broadcast on radio and he won County, Munster and All-Ireland medals in Comhaltas competitions in ballads and story-telling. In all these events Paddy had a unique delivery style of his own which would be difficult to emulate or surpass. He was also a regular contributor to the Ballyguiltenane Journal, of which he was a founder member, the Athea Parish Journal and the Loughill/Ballyhahill Annual. He also had many of his poems published in the Weekly Observer.  Paddy was a man with a strong sense of humour which came through in his writings, but he had as well a serious side in which he deplored rural decline and the disappearance of the old way of life in the countryside. He was a firm believer in good, old fashioned neighbourly relations and was a good Christian and devout Catholic as well as being a life-long Pioneer.  A few years ago he had a very interesting book of his own writings, poems, ballads and other compositions published under the title of “The Life and Rhymes of Paddy Faley” which sold out in no time.  He had just turned 92 since last April but his mind had remained as clear as ever up to his final illness which was the result of an accident at his home where he sustained a pelvic injury. He had also kept up his writing until quite recently.  Now that he has finally left us Glenbawn will never be the same again, but his daughter, Peg, who lives there with her husband Jin and their family is still keeping the family poetic tradition.  Paddy had a unique talent as a composer and writer but he was as well a very modest, nice, gentle and unassuming person, a good and loyal friend to many who knew him and a decent helpful and friendly neighbour. My own lasting friendship with Paddy goes away back to 1960 after first coming to West Limerick and is something that has been cherished by me, Mary and our family ever since. May God rest your soul Paddy Faley, you have enriched all our lives with your poems, your songs, your writings, your humour, but above all your sincere and genuine friendship. The happy, the laughing and funny days that are associated with Paddy have now sadly faded into the past, but his stage performances, radio shows and so forth will long be remembered not alone locally but in many other parts of our country as well and in England where he performed on various occasions at different venues with the Rambling House Group. In conclusion the last line of Paddy’s lovely humorous recitation “Moonlight in Glenbawn” might be an appropriate way to end this little tribute – “Faith I think the fun is over when it’s Moonlight in Glenbawn”. 

A vast number of people attended Ballyhahill Parish Hall on Wednesday evening to pay their respect and sympathise with the family before the removal to Ballyhahill Church. There was also a big congregation at the Requiem Mass on Thursday afternoon and at the funeral afterwards to Templeathea Cemetery.  Sympathy is extended to his daughters, brother, sons-in-law, grandsons, grand-daughters, great-grandchildren, extended family and other relatives. “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis”.


Book of Limericks

Dan Keane, Coilagurteen, Moyvane, recently compiled a book of Limericks, all his own compositions. Dan is well known in cultural circles in North Kerry, West Limerick and indeed many other places around the country also as a poet, ballad maker and storyteller. It is expected that his book of Limericks will be published and on sale shortly.


Local Journals

Contributors to the Athea Parish Journal and the Ballyguiltenane Rural Journal are reminded to send in their material as soon as possible to both publications for inclusion in the pre-Christmas editions.


Election and Referendums

Just to remind everybody throughout our area that it is highly important that they cast their votes at the various polling stations on this Thursday October 27th when the country will elect a new President and also vote in two referendums on a couple of vital matters which concerns the future of our State. Please do not adopt a “couldn’t care less” attitude about exercising the franchise. It is your duty and privilege to do so and we should all be thankful that we are living in a democracy where the voice of the people is still the determining factor in decision-making.


Late Nancy Sheehy

The death occurred recently of Nancy Sheehy (nee Tierney), Knockane Road, Newcastle West and formerly of St Mary’s Terrace, Carrigkerry and Ballyloughane, Athea. She had been ill for some time and died in the Regional Hospital. Nancy was originally from Maiden Street, Newcastle West and was pre-deceased several years ago by her late husband Jack. They raised a big family while living in Ballyloughane before moving to Carrigkerry. Many called to her residence to pay their respects before the removal to the Church of The Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West. There was also a big congregation at The Requiem Mass concelebrated by Fr Keane, Fr Duhig, Fr Bluett and Fr Madden and the funeral afterwards on the day to Templeathea cemetery was also well attended.  Sympathy is extended to her daughters Margaret, Mary-Anne, Pauline, Joan and Bridget, sons Gerry, John and Mike and family Hillside Drive, Athea, extended family members and other relatives. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.


The Concert

All those who organised and took part in the production of the recent Variety Concert in aid of the Colbert Memorial Hall funds are to be congratulated on the great turn-out of such a fantastic and super show. An added attraction, perhaps, was the fact that most of the participants were local apart from a small number of guest performers who by their contribution enhanced the event in no small way.  Not alone was the show itself brilliant and enjoyable but lighting on stage and the costumes all added colour to the performance. The fundraising generated by the Concert will certainly be of great help to the Memorial Hall Committee.



Sympathy is extended to Josie Willis, Knockdown on the death of her aunt in England, and also to the Dalton family. Her Requiem Mass was held in Ballyhahill Church after she was brought home by air to Shannon Airport and interment took place in Glin. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.